Roman Catholic Church says no to Petro Caribe Loans Amendment Act

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Updated: July 6, 2015

At last Wednesday’s Senate meeting, Senator for the Churches, Father Noel Leslie voted in favor of the Petro Caribe Loans Amendment Act and the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation (No.2) (2014/2015)bill and the General Supplementary Appropriation (2015/2016) bill. Over the weekend, Senator Father Noel Leslie sent out a release clarifying his position. In the release Father Leslie states quote, “As the Senator nominated by the Council of Churches, I am obligated to vote in accordance with the majority decision of that body which I represent in the Senate”, end of quote. The release says that the Roman Catholic Church of Belize held a different position from the one Leslie presented on July 1. According to Leslie, the Bishop of Belize and Belmopan, Bishop Dorick Wright, joins him in calling for a repeal of the PetroCaribe Loans Act 2015 and its amendments and for a return to the adherence to the principles outlined in the Finance and Audit Reform Act 2005. It is the view of the Roman Catholic Church of Belize and Belmopan that the PetroCaribe Loans Act 2015 was devised to correct transgressions in the borrowing and spending of Public Funds. The release ends my stating quote, “The Roman Catholic Church supports and encourages any endeavor by the Government of Belize, to move the Nation towards greater transparency and accountability in the management and use of Public funds,” end of quote.